I don't think there's ever a worse time for a girl to start crying than after having sex while still in bed with her lover, and yet, that's where I found myself the other day.
It wasn't him, not at all, and it wasn't me, either-- it was my past. My past is a bit colorful. As may have been previously stated, I haven't always had the best taste in or luck with men. One of my past relationships manifested this trait physically-- I was manhandled (quite literally) in a way that's left me with some residual emotional scars and idiosyncrasies, which seem to pop up at the most inconvenient times. A classic sign-- I'm loathe to actually call it "abuse," which of course means that I'm in denial about it and it was, in fact, abuse. I just hate to think of myself-- me: loud, dominating, confident, and proud-- as a victim. I don't consider myself a victim-- just someone who was too young, too naive, and too inexperienced to do something about it. And because of these facts, I've almost never admitted to it or talked about it.
I was smothered; I was uncomfortably pinned; I was choked. I was shaken. I was slapped. None of these were things I asked for-- they were things that just happened, for no rhyme, and no reason. And now, a perfectly wonderful man who treats me like a princess and would never think of purposefully hurting me has to be the one picking up my pieces after I spooked at finding myself in a situation completely non-related that my mind interpreted quite differently, and sent me spinning off into a panic attack the likes of which I haven't had in quite awhile.
Maybe it was the weight of someone on top of me, while holding me down. Maybe it was the thought I had that linked this feeling with pain. Maybe it was just because I'd been having nightmares lately, and was particularly susceptible to feeling overwhelmed. But for whatever reason, I suddenly found myself fighting furiously to get out from under and away while breathing like a winded racehorse. He touched my back to ask if I was ok. I nearly screamed at him to give me space. We both took a few minutes to calm down and process, and once I realized what had happened, and what I had done, I scooched across the bed, threw my arms around him, and started crying with my face screwed up against his chest. He was lovely about it, telling me that I didn't need to tell him the full story; that he understood, even if he didn't understand everything, because we all have our own skeletons in our closets. He let me cry, rubbed my back and kissed my head, and let me work it out of my system. And once we had both calmed down again, we had sex again, possibly the most reaffirming and reassuring act that I can think of.
Please, listen to me-- if you have been mistreated in your past, please, please find some way to let your current partner know. I know it's hard, and I know it can seem at times unnecessary or excessive or like a cry for attention, but if you care about the person you're seeing, they deserve to know about your issues and emotional well-being before you find yourself hyperventilating and sobbing onto their chest like I found myself. You can only be a victim as long as you stay silent, and as long as you let yourself be thought of as such. Instead, learn to grow through the experience for the hard lessons it teaches you-- how to be in tune with your emotions, feelings, and relationships with other people. And even if this isn't something that you've been through yourself, remember-- if I can be a victim of abuse, anyone can be a victim of abuse. The best thing you can do for someone with past issues is to be there for them and try to understand what it is that makes them panic or feel a certain way, and to work through it, together.
To all the other people with "colorful pasts" out there, please know-- you're not alone, and there is someone out there who will be patient and willing with you, because that's the way it's supposed to be; I promise.